Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amnesty International Convention Plans Giant MLK Salute In Tom Lee Park---Nov. 2...

Amnesty International Convention Plans Giant MLK Salute In Tom Lee Park

Amnesty International will hold its Southern Regional Conference in Memphis Oct. 31-Nov. 2, and plans a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Tom Lee Park. The MLK salute will consist of a giant human mosaic depicting King, which will be photographed from an airplane. Amnesty International hopes to get 2,000 participants to help create the artwork.
AI Southern region field organizer Aadiyah Ali says the group is concentrating its efforts on several fronts: abolishing the death penalty, curtailing violence against women, making sure human rights are preserved in the fight against terrorism, bringing international pressure to fight the genocide in Darfur, and protecting individuals at risk.

Memphis, she says, will become the central point in a campaign for economic rights, which she says is defined by the health-care gap between the rich and the poor.

"Memphis fits our goals perfectly." she adds. "We would like to see more people get involved in the push for economic rights for workers."

The conference events and workshops will be at the First Congregational Church and the National Civil Rights Museum. Among the featured speakers will be William Lucy, national head of AFSCME, and Carol Anderson, author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights.

A hip hop show at the High Point Pinch called "Displaced in America" will feature artists left homeless by Hurricane Katrina, as well as several local acts.

An Unsung Heroes awards program, concerts, and more will highlight the Keep The Dream Alive event at Tom Lee Park.

"All this is being planned to show citizens and other organizations that we are planning on being in Memphis for the long run and that we are here to support those committed to fighting for human rights," Ali says. For more info, see the Amnesty International website.

-- Tony Jones
See Also:

Another Black Man Dragged To Death In Texas...What's Going On???

Dragging victim Brandon McClelland Photo courtesy, the McClelland family

Jasper-Style Lynching In Paris, Texas?
By Jesse Muhammad
Staff Writer
Updated Oct 24, 2008

Activists Demand Hate Crime Probe Into Black Man’s Horrific Dragging Death

PARIS, Texas ( - When the body of a 24-year-old Black man in Paris, Texas was discovered in the middle of a busy road, law enforcement declared the case a hit and run by an unidentified driver.

Now this small racially-divided town’s worst fears are brewing, with evidence pointing towards two White men who picked up Brandon Clelland in their Dodge truck before he was found mutilated and dismembered in September.

Forensics performed by the Texas Rangers found blood from Mr. McClelland and other DNA evidence on the undercarriage of the truck which has the victim’s family calling the death a “Jasper-style” lynching. The term is a reference to the murder of a Black man in Jasper, Texas in 1998.

Scene of the crime where the dragging death took place in Lamar County.

“The tied my son to that truck and drugged him until his body parts were detached,” said Jacqueline McClelland, the victim’s mother in an interview with The Final Call. “His body was so destroyed that it could not even be embalmed by the funeral home. This is a hate crime. I don’t want the death penalty for these killers because that would be too quick. I want them to suffer for life in jail without parole since I will never have my son back.”

The Lamar County District Attorney has decided race is not a factor in the death of Mr. McClelland because he was friends with alleged assailants Shannon Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley. Both men are 27-years-old.

The family of dragging victim Brandon McClelland wants the case to be declared a hate crime. Photos: Jesse Muhammad

Angry family members and community activists, however, are demanding a thorough investigation into a possible hate crime they say parallels the lynching of James Byrd Jr., in Jasper, Texas, which is several hours south of Paris.

In 1998, Mr. Byrd was strapped to a pickup truck and dragged to death by three White supremacists eventually convicted of murder. The case spurred massive protests and drew international outcry Paris authorities are trying to stunt but may have a hard time avoiding.

According to a police report, Mr. McClelland was walking in front of the pickup a little after 4 a.m. on Sept. 16 when Mr. Finley and Mr. Crostley allegedly ran him down and dragged him up and down a Lamar County road until his disfigured body popped out from beneath the chassis.

“I don’t see how it was racial, being as how they were good friends,” said Stacy McNeal to the local press. He is the Texas Ranger who is leading the investigation.

“This was not a hit and run. They (Finley’s family) hid the truck and even tried to wash the blood off. The police didn’t even tape off the crime scene and some of my son’s body parts were still lying out there,” said Ms. McClelland, as she wiped away tears.

“If that would have been a White person killed they would have handled this immediately. This is just like Jasper,” she said. Ms. McClelland added that her family was forced to have the funeral quickly due to pressure applied to the funeral home director. The family wanted to delay the funeral to allow for more investigation, she said.

“He (the funeral director) was told by the police to hurry up and put the body in the ground because they didn’t want any trouble coming to this town,” said Ms. McClelland. “They took the life of my only son.”

“I was awakened by our dog barking around 4:25 a.m. but I couldn’t see what occurred because our camper trailer was blocking my view from my back porch. I wish I could have seen more,” said Bobbi Baker. Ms. Baker, who is White, lives with her husband and son a few feet from the crime scene.

“We think this is horrible,” said Jim Baker, who added that eight law enforcement officers live nearby so “things like this hardly happen over here and this was sad.”

Mr. Crostley was arrested and is being held in the Lamar County Jail with a bail exceeding $500,000. Mr. Finley has waived his right to extradition from Wichita, Kan., where he was arrested. Both men are charged with murder and tampering with evidence.

Suspects Linked To Manslaughter Conviction

In 2003, Lamar County D.A. Gary Young served as Mr. Finley’s court-appointed defense attorney when Mr. Finley pleaded guilty to manslaughter for shooting a friend to death.

The victim in the Finley manslaughter case was White and Mr. Finely told police he was sitting in a truck with his friend when two Black men tried to rob them. Mr. Finley said he fired at the robbers but accidentally shot his friend.

An autopsy determined the victim suffered three gunshot wounds to the head, but the district attorney at the time accepted Mr. Finley’s story that the shooting was an accident. He was offered a plea bargain on a reduced manslaughter charge and eventually served a little over a year of a four-year prison sentence. The alleged robbers were never found.

Mr. McClelland falsely testified before a grand jury that Mr. Finley was with him at the time of the shooting. For lying under oath, Mr. McClelland was convicted of aggravated perjury and served over two years in prison.

Grassroots Groups On The Ground

Members of the New Black Panther Party, Houston Millions More Movement and the Nation of Islam conducted a fact finding mission in Paris on Oct. 5 to comfort the grieving family, interview witnesses and plan a massive town hall meeting at the end of the month.

“We want justice for this family and we want these two criminals prosecuted to the fullness of the law,” said Krystal Muhammad of the New Black Panther Party. “We will be monitoring this case closely.”

New Black Panther Party members met with District Attorney Young Oct. 6 and held a press conference downtown. “We are asking for an outside agency to come in and ensure that justice is served,” said party member Derrick Brown.

“This is a hate crime,” said Paris activist Brenda Cherry to The Final Call. She has been working with the McClelland family. “This is just like Jasper all over again.”

“This killing does not surprise me and it bears witness to the racism that still exists in Paris and other towns,” Creola Cotton told The Final Call.

Ms. Cotton knows firsthand about Paris’ racial disparities. Last year her then 14-year-old Black daughter, Shaquanda Cotton, was sentenced by a local judge to up to seven years in detention for shoving a hall monitor at her high school. Just three months earlier, the same judge sentenced a 14-year-old White girl to probation after convicting her of torching her family’s house. The case drew national attention and resulted in Shaquanda’s early release.

“Recently after nooses started popping up everywhere, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan warned us that these type of hate filled activities would increase,” said Deric Muhammad of the Millions More Movement, who visited the victim’s family and the crime scene. “That crime scene looked like the aftermath of a bloody lynching. If this is not a hate crime, I don’t know what is.”

Related Links:

Have things changed 10 years after Texas lynching? (FCN, 06-19-2008)

Still searching for justice (FCN, 12-07-1999)

Memphis Says Good-Bye To Jazz & Music Education Legend...

Dr. Goodrich True To His Music Love
By By Jon W. Sparks
Special to The Commercial Appeal

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Andrew L. Goodrich was passionate about each of the rich and varied parts of his life -- jazz musician, educator, father, civil rights activist.

Dr. Goodrich, who died Sunday at age 80 in Bryn Mawr, Pa., grew up in Memphis with a devotion to jazz. He took up the alto saxophone in the seventh grade and was a member of the Manassas High School Band whose members included jazz performers who would garner global reputations, such as Harold Mabern, Booker Little and Charles Lloyd.

He was awarded a music scholarship to Tennessee State University and was a member of the nationally recognized Collegians jazz band.

Vikki Tolbert, Dr. Goodrich's daughter, said alto saxophonist Tony Williams went to TSU to play with the Collegians when her father was a member. Williams had a high opinion of his abilities but when he heard the band, "he said they were so awesome, so hot, that he hid his sax under his bed," Tolbert said.

Dr. Goodrich became a band director and music teacher in Memphis and later in Nashville. "He was always very passionate about his music and that was near and dear to him," said his son, Eric Goodrich.

Tolbert said her father realized that teaching and performing would not be enough to raise his four children, so he went to Michigan State University and got a Ph.D. in administration and higher education.

While Dr. Goodrich pursued his career as an administrator and professor at the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois, among other places, he also continued to perform.

Among the artists he performed with were Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Clark Terry, Jimmy Cleveland, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley and Thad Jones. He twice performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and also at the White House for President Ronald Reagan's celebration of Lionel Hampton.

Dr. Goodrich produced three jazz albums: Natch'l Natch'l in 1976, Motherless Child in 1997 and Too Muckin' Fuch in 2002.

While he was dedicated to his music, his family and education, he was also an activist in the civil rights movement. When he lived in Nashville, he opened his home to out-of-town students who were participants in sit-ins, his daughter said.

Dr. Goodrich also leaves two other sons, Dr. Kenneth Goodrich and Reginald Goodrich; a brother, Harold Goodrich; and eight grandchildren.

A viewing for Dr. Goodrich is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today followed by a memorial service at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 620 Parkrose Road. Interment is Monday at 10:30 a.m. at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.

The family asks that any memorials be sent to the Andy Goodrich Memorial at Stax Music Academy.

© 2008 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Is What Willie Lynch Looks Like: Justice For Reginald Pointer...

View The Post Autopsy Photos Of The Victim.

Find more photos like this on Assata Shakur Ning


This afternoon I accompanied Ms. Shirley Wilson mother of Reginald Pointer who was shot and killed last Tuesday to N.J. Fords And Sons Funeral Home. Wilson's son was shot down by undercover police officer Jerry Hampton who along with his partner Louis Brown gave chase to Pointer after Fed-Ex security guards who also were were chasing the 24 year old stated that it seemed he was prowling cars parked on Tchulahoma Street. Ms. Wilson was also accompanied by several family members who requested that I take pictures of Pointer to be placed on this site so that the truth about his death could not be covered up.

Looking at the body of Reginald Pointer I now understand why the Memphis Police Department has issued no statement concerning the shooting. It's very apparent that Pointer was not only shot but beaten. But what lead to the use of deadly force by officer Hampton? Sources out of 201 Poplar told me on last Wednesday that the shooting could not be justified and that Pointer had no weapon on him or any device that could be used to break in cars. So why is he dead?

It's an unwritten policy among police officers that if they have to chase you,you have to go to the MED because you will be issued a ass whupping. The left side of Pointer's face is badly swollen plus you can see bruises around the left side of his forehead and eye. There is also bruises in his chest,Left side, And his left and right arms are both swollen and bruised.

The bullet from the 40 caliber Sig that MPD officers carry at close range would go through a body but there is no exit wound so I'm lead to believe that Pointer was being beaten and got loose and ran and was shot down by Hampton. The wound to the left arm shows that the bullet grazed the arm prior to entering Pointer's body. So is it possible that Hampton shot Pointer because he tried to get away from the beating that he was receiving,Especially since it had not been proven that he had committed any crime.Because surely Pointer wasn't beaten after he was shot.

Is it possible that the bruises and the swollen spots on the body of Reginald Pointer come from night sticks or maybe from being stomped? Either way with MPD officers and FEDEX security present there was no reason for deadly force to be used on the 5"5 125 pound 24 year old. From the appearance of the body he was no threat to the officers,So why is he dead?

Is the struggle that the officers state was made by Pointer one where he was trying to save his own life? Is it one of survival where he was being beaten and just wanted to get away? Where's the reason for deadly force? We all know that if MPD had a way to clear this Black police officer who shot down a Black man in cold blood those facts and evidence would have been submitted by now.

This is a case of police brutality that is being condoned by Police Director Larry Godwin and mayor Willie Herenton. Because if they didn't condone the act we would have heard from them by now. Maybe they thought that because of the Lester Street pictures that I would not be able to get pictures out of N.J. Fords funeral home and that the truth about the killing would be buried on this Saturday when the 24 year old is laid to rest.


Posted by Thaddeus Augustus Matthews


Monday, October 27, 2008

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney Writes to TN Election Authorities re Election Integrity...

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney

I sent the following letter to TN Election authorities today:

October 23, 2008

Tennessee Department of State
Division of Elections
Attention: Grace Bonecutter or Shelley Adams
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
9th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-1102

Via electronic mail

Ms. Bonecutter or Ms. Adams:

It has come to my attention that the early voting process in your state has revealed some real flaws in Tennessee's touch screen voting machines that have presented voters with unnecessary difficulties. Quite frankly, I have been issuing public warnings about the flaws of these electronic voting machines since their mass deployment across our country in 2000. It saddens me that so little has been done to ensure election integrity in 2008.

It is my understanding that the wife of the maker of the film, "Uncounted" had a vote-flipping experience which is now being reported. A copy of that report was forwarded to me for my information. I do want to make it clear to you that I do not want any votes counted in my tally that do not reflect the will of the voter to cast a vote for me. Conversely, in cases where it is the will of the voter to vote for my running mate, Rosa Clemente, and me, I do not want unreliable and untrustworthy electronic voting machines to incorrectly and unfairly tally, or undercount, McKinney/Clemente votes.

I do want you to be aware of these reports and I request that you take all possible steps within applicable rules and regulations to avoid these reported experiences in future voting, especially on Election Day. Voters and candidates should have complete confidence that the announced election results are reflective of the will of the voters. Please read the report below for more information. I am including the reporter's information on this message so you can contact her directly. I wish you and the voters of Tennessee, and this country, a successful election free of flaws and voter disfranchisement.

I do look forward to hearing from you soon on this matter.


Cynthia McKinney

Mary Mancini Story Attached:

October 20, 2008
Vote Flipping in Davidson County, Tennessee

By Mary Mancini
Vote Flipping

2008 Election
Electronic Voting Machines

This political season, more than any other in recent memory, is irony-filled. So why this incident involving my friend and the wife of UNCOUNTED filmmaker, David Earnhardt, surprises me, I can't tell you.

My wife, Patricia Earnhardt, had an early voting experience here in Nashville, Tennessee, where she saw her vote momentarily flip from Barack Obama to Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. She voted on a touch-screen paperless machine. Here is her story:

"A poll worker directed me to a touch screen voting machine & instructed me how to use it. I touched "Obama" for president & nothing lit up. I touched 2 or 3 more times & still nothing lit up. I called the poll worker back over to tell him I was having a problem. He said I just needed to touch it more lightly. I tried it 2 or 3 more times more lightly with the poll worker watching & still nothing lit up. The poll worker then touched it for me twice — nothing lit up. The third time he touched the Obama button, the Cynthia McKinney space lit up! The McKinney button was located five rows below the Obama button. The poll worker just kind of laughed and cancelled the vote. He hit the Obama button again & it finally lit up. I continued on to cast the rest of my votes. After completing the process & reviewing my votes, I went to the VOTE page, hit the VOTE button & nothing happened. Again after several tries, I called the poll worker over & he finally got the machine to register my votes." Patricia Earnhardt - Friday, Oct. 17 - Howard School Building - Nashville, Tennessee

I also had similar problems with the machine I was voting on that same day, although no vote flipping. I would touch the screen numerous times before I could get my various candidate choices to light up. It was strange and very frustrating. When I finally got through my slate of candidate choices, I could not get the VOTE button to light up when I touched it. I finally called over a poll worker and he told me that I needed to touch lightly. I touched the VOTE button more lightly, but was only able to get it to work after several more failed attempts.

David Earnhardt
Producer/director/writer, "Uncounted"

Need more sad irony? The machines David and Patricia voted on in Davidson County, TN - ES&S iVotronic - are the same machines used in the West Virginia counties (Putnam & Jackson) where vote flipping is also being reported. Go to the election info page on the state of Tennessee and click on Davidson County. Or download this PDF.


Cynthia McKinney 'Power to the People' Campaign for President

Rosa Clemente, Candidate for Vice President

Green Party of the United States

John Judge
Press Secretary
McKinney for President 2008
240-491-3311 fax (Media Contacts)

Please Support Sis. Cynthia McKinney's Run For The Whitehouse By Visiting Her Official Campaign Website

106 Year Young Woman Votes For Obama...First Time Voting...

Election Buzz Excites Centenarian - Mary Alice Gandy Votes For The First Time

Surrounded by photographers, reporters and news cameras at the Shelby County Election Commission, Mary Alice Gandy, 106, is voting for the first time. State Rep. G.A. Hardaway Sr. (standing) and admirers provide assistance.

Born in 1902, Mary Alice Gandy decided that she wanted to be part of this historic time – the unprecedented race between Sen. Barack Obama, the first black candidate for a major U.S. political party, and Sen. John McCain.

On Monday, Gandy, 106, took advantage of the Early Voting period for the 2008 Presidential Election and voted for the first time in her life.

“She never thought she would ever see a black man run for president,” said William Gandy, her grandson. “Then she sees this guy,” he said, holding up an Obama campaign button.

He said his grandmother never voted in her life but after seeing the news stories, debates and ads on television “wanted to do something” and be involved in the history making event.

A member of Easthaven Church of Christ, Gandy is the eldest of three sisters and one brother, most of whom are deceased.

The centenarian lives with another grandson, Tony Gandy, in the Bethel Grove community near Orange Mound. Her state representative, G.A. Hardaway Sr. was on hand to put the moment in context. “If this doesn’t inspire you to get up and go out and vote – nothing will,” Hardaway said.

Surrounded by photographers, reporters and news cameras at the Shelby County Election Commission, Gandy was calm and collected. She was greeted by Election Commission administrator James Johnson, who gladly said he would check voting records to see if she is the oldest person to vote in the city.

A little hard of hearing, the petite elderly woman didn’t respond to many questions at her impromptu press conference but it was clear that she was the one in charge.

To the delight of reporters, she also took the opportunity to recite a favorite poem about a little girl and a whippoorwill, asking Rep. Hardaway, “May I say something?”

Gandy grew up in rural Columbus, Miss., with limited education and limited opportunity, said grandson William. The daughter of sharecroppers, she spent her working years in Memphis as a self-employed seamstress. He said she was a wonderful seamstress who started him off in life by making his baby clothes.

The centenarian is taking advantage of the Early Voting period for the 2008 Presidential Election. Poll workers are making sure she understands the ballot. (Photos by Tyrone P. Easley)

A member of Easthaven Church of Christ, Gandy is the eldest of three sisters and one brother, most of whom are deceased. Now only she and the youngest sister, who lives in Chicago, are still alive. A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Gandy has outlived her own three sons.

Curious onlookers wanted to know if she just voted the presidential race and skipped other items like the 10 Charter amendments. William Gandy, the owner of Gandy’s Barber Shop at 2381 Elvis Presley in South Memphis, said that they had voted the entire ballot.

The first-time voter, as she was being tucked back into the car, offered an assessment of her unprecedented trip to the polls.

“I loved it,” she said graciously to those standing nearby.

“Thanks to all of you for being so kind.”

Jennifer Hudson's Nephew Allegedly Found Dead In Abandoned SUV...

CHICAGO - A top FBI official said Monday that a body found in an SUV is believed to be that of Jennifer Hudson's missing 7-year-old nephew, the focus of a desperate search since the Oscar winner's mother and brother were found shot to death in their home three days earlier.

While the body has not been positively identified, FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole said authorities believe it to be that of Julian King, who also lived in the home.

Chicago police said the body of a black male child was found shortly after 7 a.m. in the rear seat of an SUV. An autopsy was planned for Tuesday.

The SUV was found parked on the street in a neighborhood of brownstone homes and apartment buildings, and matched the one sought in an Amber Alert issued after Hudson's mother and brother were found slain Friday, police Cmdr. Wayne Gulliford said.

In Washington, Pistole said at a news conference on child exploitation that authorities found a body "who we believe to be the missing victim in Chicago, the nephew of Jennifer Hudson. We are working with Chicago police to get a positive identification of the victim."

Hudson had offered $100,000 Sunday for information leading to Julian's safe return. He is the son of Jennifer Hudson's sister, Julia Hudson. Telephone and e-mail messages left Monday for Hudson's publicist, who had been releasing statements on behalf of the family, were not answered.

Chicago police have characterized the killings as "domestic related" and have been questioning William Balfour, who is the estranged husband of Julia Hudson and is being held in state custody on a parole violation. Balfour is not the boy's father and has not been charged in the slayings.

Balfour, 27, was taken into custody Friday by Chicago police for questioning in the killings. On Sunday, he was transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections "based on his active parole violation unrelated to this investigation."

Records from the Corrections Department show Balfour is on parole and spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possessing a stolen vehicle.

Balfour's mother, Michele Balfour, has said Hudson's mother kicked Balfour out of the family home last winter. She denied her son had anything to do with the killings.

Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith said Balfour would probably remain in state custody until the Illinois Prisoner Review Board looked at his case. She would not say where Balfour was being held, and it was unclear whether Balfour had an attorney.

Hudson, who won an Academy Award in 2007 for her role in "Dreamgirls," was in Chicago during the weekend. The medical examiner's office confirmed Hudson, 27, identified the bodies of her mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson. The deaths were ruled homicides.

Neighbors and well-wishers brought stuffed animals and other items to a makeshift memorial outside Donerson's two-story white clapboard home as news of Monday's discovery spread.

"Everybody knows Jennifer Hudson, but I would be here even if it was little Suzy on the corner," said Tacara Juarez, 26, who doesn't know the family but lives in the neighborhood.

On Sunday, Hudson appealed to the public for help, offering the reward and asking any information be given to Chicago police.

"Jennifer and her family appreciate the enormous amount of love, support and prayers they have received while she and her family try to cope with this tragedy and continue the search for Julian," said a statement from her publicist.


Associated Press writers Carla K. Johnson and Michael Tarm contributed to this report.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Video: The Importance Of Election Day 2008...

Tha Artivist Writes:


Bro. Billy Of Is A Great Pitchman...

It will happen. is the joint and the jam rolled into one giving you an informative high one keystroke and blog post at a time...

Like jared~subway, dave thomas~wendy's, col. sanders~kfc & more
you got it.

all this stuff is about personality politics
ain't about issues
but celebrity
it's key
you got to get them hooked,
before you can get them informed!!!

"W." Actress & Popular News Anchorwoman Dies From Home Invasion Injuries...

Video: KATV News Tribute To Anne Pressly

In this photo released by KATV Television Monday, Oct. 20, 2008, news anchor Anne Pressly, 26, is shown in a June 26, 2008, photo in Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas television anchorwoman died Saturday Oct. 25, 2008, several days after she didn't answer her wake-up call and was found beaten in her home, hospital officials said.
(AP Photo/KATV Television)

Ark. Anchorwoman Dies In Hospital After Beating

By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas television anchorwoman died Saturday, several days after she didn't answer her wake-up call and was found beaten in her home, hospital officials said.

Anne Pressly, 26, died at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Margaret Preston said.

In a statement released by the hospital, Pressly's parents, Guy and Patti Cannady, asked for privacy as they grieved.

"It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home," the statement read. "We were with her in her last moments, and although our hearts are broken, we are at the same time comforted by our faith knowing that Anne is now with our heavenly father."

Pressly was beaten around the head, face and neck. She had been unable to communicate with her family or police while being kept sedated in the intensive care unit.

The anchor's death came only a day after a doctor said he was encouraged that her vital signs were stable while she remained in critical condition. Dr. Clifton R. Johnson told reporters Friday that swelling in Pressly's brain had gone down since being hospitalized and that doctors had slowly been reducing her sedative dosages.

She was discovered Monday morning a half-hour before she was to appear on ABC affiliate KATV's "Daybreak" program. Her mother went to her home after she didn't answer her regular wake-up call.

Police have yet to identify a suspect, though detectives have combed the area around Pressly's home in the Heights neighborhood — a mix of bungalows and mansions near the Little Rock Country Club. News reports have said detectives found evidence that Pressly's credit card was used Monday at a gas station a few miles from her home.

Sgt. Cassandra Davis, a police spokeswoman, has said investigators suspect Pressly was the victim of a random attack. Davis did not return a call for comment Saturday night.

Pressly was a native of Greenville, S.C., and moved with her family to Little Rock while she was in high school. She was a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

She had a small role in the new Oliver Stone movie "W.," which was filmed in Shreveport, La. She appears briefly as a conservative commentator who speaks favorably of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the start of the Iraq war.

On Saturday, KATV opened its nightly news cast with a seven-minute segment devoted to Pressly. Anchor Pamela Smith told viewers that Pressly's family agreed to have their daughter be an organ donor. Smith's voice hitched as she read condolences sent into the station, her eyes red.

"She owned every room she was in, not because she demanded our attention, but because we willingly gave it to her," Smith said. "We all felt a little better, a little more alive just being near her.

"Life was easy for Anne Pressly. But it is her death that is so very hard for all of us."

A reward fund KATV set up to help find the killer or killers has reached $30,000, the station reported on its Web site Saturday night.

No funeral arrangements were immediately announced.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Meet The Black McCains...

Two Families Named McCain

Fabrizio Costantini for the Wall Street Journal
Lillie McCain's family spans five generations from the enslavement of her great-great grandparents on the Mississippi Delta plantation, Teoc.

WSJ's Douglas Blackmon speaks with Charles McCain Jr. and his sister Mary McCain Fluker, descendants of slaves held at the Mississippi plantation owned by the family of Sen. John McCain's great-great-grandfather. (Oct. 16)

Candidate's Kin Share A History With Descendants Of Slaves


TEOC, Miss. -- Lillie McCain is watching the presidential campaign from a singular perspective.

A 56-year-old psychology professor whose family spans five generations from the enslavement of her great-great-grandparents to her own generation's fight for civil rights, Ms. McCain appreciates the social changes that have opened the way for Sen. Barack Obama to be the first major-party black contender for the White House.

But she also has an uncommon view on another American passage. Ms. McCain and her siblings are descended from two of about 120 slaves held before the end of the Civil War at Teoc, the Mississippi plantation owned by the family of Republican nominee John McCain's great-great-grandfather.

In a year when the historic nature of Sen. Obama's candidacy is drawing much comment, the case of the Teoc McCains offers another quintessential American narrative in black and white. For the black McCain family, it is a story of triumph over the legacy of slavery; for the white McCains, it is the evolution of a 19th-century cotton dynasty into one rooted in an ethic of military and national service.

"I think that since we can't undo what has been done, that the most effective thing for us to do is figure out how to put things in perspective and go from there," says Ms. McCain, who holds a doctorate in psychology and teaches at Mott Community College in Flint, Mich. "To harbor anger and hostility and all that is counterproductive."

To Sen. McCain, "How the Teoc descendants have served their community and, by extension, their country is a testament to the power of family, love, compassion and the human spirit." It is, he added, in a statement provided by a spokesman, "an example for all citizens."

The black and white McCain families have long acknowledged their shared history at Teoc, a name that applies to both the plantation and the now-sparse community around it. A cousin of the senator still owns 1,500 acres of the original 2,000. Sen. McCain's younger brother, Joe, and other white McCains have attended family reunions organized by the African-American McCains.

Lillie McCain's family is descended from two slaves, named Isom and Lettie, according to interviews and examinations of family documents, county files and U.S. Census Bureau records. They remained closely entwined with the white family for decades after the Civil War, taking its surname and living close by on land rented from their former owners. Lettie McCain's headstone is still visible in an overgrown graveyard for African-Americans not far from the ruins of the last "big house" on the Teoc plantation.

According to members of the white McCain family, the plantation in rural Carroll County, Miss., was purchased by Sen. McCain's great-great-grandfather, William Alexander McCain, in 1851, when many of the flat vistas of the Mississippi Delta region in the state's northwest corner were still swampy wilderness. After his death in 1863, his widow and a brother, Nathaniel Henry McCain, maintained the family's position among Mississippi gentry.

William Alexander McCain's son John Sidney McCain ran the plantation and served in local politics, including a term as county sheriff. A son of his, also named John Sidney McCain but known as "Slew," graduated from the Naval Academy in 1906 and began a military life that would eventually supplant the family's long history as cotton barons. He became an admiral and top naval officer during World War II. His son, the third with the same name but known as John S. "Jack" McCain Jr., also rose to the rank of admiral, in the Vietnam War era -- while his own son, Sen. McCain, was a Navy pilot and then a prisoner of war.

Sen. McCain's family lived primarily on military installations around the world. But they remained attached to Teoc, visiting repeatedly during Sen. McCain's childhood, often for long periods. When they went to the farm in the 1940s and 1950s, the future Sen. McCain and his brother stayed in the rambling house, now abandoned, of their great-uncle, Joe McCain, who had become the plantation's owner.

Sen. McCain's younger brother, also named Joe, said that though their father "moved around as the son of a naval officer, he too always thought of Teoc as his 'blood ground' and loved visiting there."

The McCains in the early 20th century were known among African-Americans for relatively equitable treatment of their workers and tenants, especially compared with the abuses happening on many other farms. A visitor to the plantation in 1923 published an account that described "a tradition and a policy of fair dealing between planter and laborer."

"That's how I remember it," said Frank Bryant, 90, a black former Teoc sharecropper.
The 19th century had been a different story for African-Americans in Carroll County. In 1886, after two black men filed a lawsuit against a white man, a white mob rushed the courthouse and murdered more than 20 blacks there, according to court documents and newspaper accounts at the time. They weren't prosecuted.

Earlier still, just after the Civil War, Sen. McCain's ancestors, like many former slave owners, made use of newly passed laws designed to temporarily force some freed slaves back into the control of their former masters. Records in a dusty storage room in the Carroll County courthouse show that in February 1866, Sen. McCain's great-great-grandmother, Louisa McCain, and her brother-in-law Nathaniel filed petitions to take legal custody of three girls under age 15 whom the McCains had owned before emancipation. In court, the girls were identified with the surname "Freedman," a common practice with emancipated slaves.

There is no record of the full circumstances, but thousands of young African-Americans at that time were forced under such claims to return to their onetime masters as apprentices. Those apprentice laws in the South were later struck down.

Once freedom was clearly established, two black McCain families remained close to the former owners. One family was led by the former slave Isom McCain, who was 34 at the end of the Civil War, and the other by Henderson McCain, a 16-year-old at the time of emancipation, according to census records. They raised large families in rented houses next door to each other at Teoc.

The black McCains of today were raised to believe that they were blood relatives of the white McCains, dating back to slavery times. White McCains say they're unaware of any biological connection between the families. A spokesman for Sen. McCain declined to comment.

In the 1880s and 1890s, Henderson McCain and later Isom's son, Harry, became trustees of a tiny school for black children, according to records found by a local genealogist, Susie James. In 1922, blacks at Teoc built a four-room schoolhouse with $1,750 they scraped together and $900 from a philanthropy that was helping blacks build schools across the South, the Rosenwald Fund.

Most of the descendants of Henderson McCain left Teoc in the 1950s. Isom's son Harry had a boy in 1885 named Weston. He saved enough to buy a small parcel of farmland.
"He didn't want to be dependent on white people, or needing white people," says Lillie McCain, who is his granddaughter. "He thought it was important to own land. He used to say, 'Everybody ought to have some dirt.'"

Weston McCain's oldest son was Charles W. McCain, who lived from 1916 to 2000. After serving in the Army in France during World War II, he returned to Carroll County and, along with a cousin, bought 160 acres of land.

By then, the black McCains were emerging among the county's most important leaders. Charles McCain was a central figure in the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. When civil-rights workers swarmed Mississippi in 1964, the black McCains housed white activists and received bomb threats and harassing calls.

"Daddy didn't want us to roll over and play dead or live as if you are not a person," says Lillie McCain. Her sister Mary McCain Fluker, 53, says their father "would always tell us you are just as good as anybody. 'You are no better than anybody,' he'd tell us, 'but you're just as good as anybody.'"

Civil-rights organizers held secret meetings at the family's church just off the Teoc plantation. The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a state agency formed to thwart the civil-rights movement, kept tabs on Mr. McCain, according to commission records. "Daddy was one of the leaders, one of the people out front," says 60-year-old Charles McCain Jr., a retired brick mason and teacher who still lives on the family land.

Lillie McCain remembers seeing Martin Luther King Jr. speak from the back of a flatbed truck in nearby Greenwood. She and her two brothers were arrested at a march in Jackson, Miss., organized by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, whose leader, Stokely Carmichael, introduced the phrase "black power." Not long after Mr. Carmichael spoke at the McCains' church, it burned down, during a wave of Ku Klux Klan firebombings. The McCain children remember passing its smoking remains on their way to school the next day.

Amid those events, the black McCain children wondered what must be wrong with white people. "I was thinking, 'How can they kill people and they all go to church?'" says Lillie McCain. "I was just baffled by that."

Sen. McCain grew to adulthood largely unaware of his family's ties to slavery. In a statement, he called the abuses of African-Americans in the 20th century "a dark and tragic chapter in American history" and said that "cultivating the bond between the two important."

In the late 1960s, black McCain children were among those who integrated the previously all-white schools in the county seat, Carrollton. In 1969, Lillie McCain was one of the first two African-Americans to graduate from the integrated high school. Four of the six McCain children in her family served in the military and all six earned college degrees.

Lillie McCain earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit. Her sister Mrs. Fluker retired after a career as special-education teacher in the public schools from which she once was barred. Joyce McCain became a production executive at General Motors. Delbra McCain Roberts became a registered nurse. Charles Jr. taught bricklaying in the high school. The eldest child, George, became the first black fire chief in the town of Greenwood. Lillie and all of her siblings say they support Sen. Obama for president.

When George McCain was killed in a traffic accident in 2003, Frank Bryant, the aged former sharecropper, invited to the funeral Bill McCain, the senator's cousin, who owns the remaining 1,500 acres of Teoc plantation and lives nearby. It was the beginning of a modern dialogue between the two families as equals. At the service, Mr. McCain stood in the family section with the black McCains.

Write to Douglas A. Blackmon at


Check Out CNN Interview With Douglas Blackmon & Lillie McCain:

NBA Great Zeke Almost Retires Himself Permanently, Blames Daughter For Foul Play...

Police Chief Rebukes Thomas For Involving Daughter

NEW YORK (AP)—A suburban police chief likened the conflicting accounts of an accidental overdose at Isiah Thomas’ home to a “cover-up” and rebuked the former New York Knicks coach Saturday for saying it was his teenage daughter who required treatment.

“It wasn’t his daughter,” Harrison Police Chief David Hall told The Associated Press. “And why they’re throwing her under the bus is beyond my ability to understand.”

Authorities were called early Friday to Thomas’ Westchester County home, where police said a 47-year-old man was taken to the hospital and treated for an overdose of sleeping pills. Several media outlets reported that police confirmed it was Thomas who went to the hospital.

But reached on his cell phone Friday, the 47-year-old NBA great told the New York Post he had not been treated for a sleeping pill overdose, and that it was 17-year-old daughter Lauren who had a medical issue.

It “wasn’t an overdose,” he told the newspaper. “My daughter is very down right now. None of us are OK.”

Hall forcefully refuted Thomas’ statement.

“My cops … know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female,” Hall said.

“These people should learn something from Richard Nixon—it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up,” he added.

Voice mails and text messages from the AP were left on Thomas’ cell phone Saturday. Messages left earlier with Thomas’ publicist and two of his attorneys were not returned.

Thomas’ 20-year-old son, Joshua, lashed out at Hall’s comments.

“Saying that someone is being thrown under the bus when you are talking about health issues is disrespectful,” the Indiana University student wrote in a text to the New York Daily News.

“I love both my sister and dad and am glad that both are doing well,” he told the newspaper. “Thanks for all the support, but as a family we are fine and stronger than ever.”

On Friday, he also said it was his sister, not his father, who required treatment.

No suicide note was found, and police were classifying the case as an “accidental drug overdose” on “a number” of prescription sleeping pills, Hall said.

Hall would not confirm the identity of the hospitalized man.

The developments, days before the start of another season, are the latest drama in what has been a difficult year for Thomas.

He was fired as the Knicks’ coach April 18 after a season of dreadful basketball, a tawdry sexual harassment lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding his dismissal. Still, he was retained by the organization as an adviser and consultant.

“Isiah Thomas spoke with members of the New York Knicks organization and is OK,” the Knicks said in a statement. “He is dealing with a family matter, and we will have no further comment. He has asked that we respect his privacy, and we will.”

An ambulance and two police officers responded to a 911 call that came in from the Thomas home a couple minutes after midnight, Hall said. The victim was taken about 5 miles from the home to White Plains Hospital Center, where officials declined to identify the overdose patient.

Thomas’ house is on a luxury cul de sac of multimillion-dollar homes, about 30 miles from midtown Manhattan.

As a player, Thomas won NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990 and an NCAA championship with Indiana in 1981. He joined the Knicks as the team president in 2003 and became coach in June 2006 after Larry Brown was fired.

Last season, Thomas drew the wrath of fans, who serenaded him nightly with chants of “Fire Isiah!” When he was dismissed, his record in New York was 56-108. Overall, he is 187-223 as an NBA coach, leading the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs in three straight years from 2000-03.

Chart Topping Songstress & Award Winning Actress' Family Slain. Nephew Missing...

Check Out Jennifer Hudson's Chart Topping "Spotlight"

Jennifer Hudson's Nephew Missing After Slayings

By RUPA SHENOY, Associated Press

CHICAGO – Authorities investigating the shooting deaths of Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother were searching for the missing 7-year-old nephew of the Oscar-winning actress.

A suspect in the deaths was in custody Friday night, but young Julian King had not been seen since the bodies of Darnell Donerson, 57, and Jason Hudson, 29, were found Friday afternoon.

A family member entering Donerson's South Side home Friday afternoon found the woman shot on the living room floor. Responding officers later found Hanson shot in the bedroom, police said.

At least one of the victims suffered defensive wounds, said authorities who described the shooting as domestic violence.

William Balfour, a man suspected in the deaths, was arrested Friday but had not been charged, law enforcement sources told the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said investigators were talking to "a number of people in custody" but she declined to elaborate. An Amber Alert issued Friday said Balfour was a suspect in the double homicide.

Records from the Illinois Department of Corrections show Balfour, 27, is on parole and spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possessing a stolen vehicle. Public records show one of Balfour's addresses as the home where Donerson and Jason Hudson were shot.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said autopsies for Donerson and Jason Hudson were pending.

Balfour's mother, Michelle, said her son had been married to Hudson's sister, Julia, for several years, but they were separated. She also said Donerson had ordered him to move out of the family's home last winter.

Jennifer Hudson's personal publicist, Lisa Kasteler, said the family wanted privacy.

The tragedy comes as Hudson, who grew up in Chicago, continues to reach new heights in her career. Her song "Spotlight" is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts and her recently released, self-tiled debut album has been a top seller. She was featured in this year's blockbuster "Sex and the City" movie and is also starring in the hit film "The Secret Life of Bees."

She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007 for her role in "Dreamgirls." In an interview last year with Vogue, Hudson credited her mother with encouraging her to audition for "American Idol," which launched her career.

The singer, whose father died when she was a teenager, described herself as very close to her family. In a recent AP interview she said her family, which includes older siblings Julia and Jason, helped keep her grounded.

"My faith in God and my family, they're very realistic and very normal, they're not into the whole limelight kind of thing, so when I go home to Chicago that's just another place that's home," she said. "I stand in line with everybody else, or, when I go home to my mom I'm just Jennifer, (so she says), 'You get up and you take care of your own stuff.' And I love that; I don't like when people tell you everything you want to hear, I want to hear the truth, you know what I mean."

Hudson recently announced her engagement to David Otunga, best known for his stint on VH1's reality show "I Love New York."

Hudson's representatives would not disclose her whereabouts Friday. She had been scheduled to appear Monday in Los Angeles to collect an ensemble cast honor at the Hollywood Awards for "The Secret Life of Bees" with co-stars including Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning.


AP Music Writer Nekesa Moody in New York and AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Friday, October 24, 2008

10/26/2008~W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~What's Going On??? Dealing With Post-Traumatic Slave Disorder...

One Full Year On The Air!!!

October 2008's Theme Is "Our Time!!!"

Date: Sunday October 26, 2008

Time: 4PM C/5PM E/2PM P

Listen To The Show Live Online:

Topic: What's Going On???
Dealing With Post-Traumatic Slave Disorder...

"It Is Easier To Raise Strong Children Than It Is To Repair Broken Men"
~Frederick Douglass

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today
~Marvin Gaye from What's Going On?

"As another has well said, to handicap a student by teaching him that his black face is a curse and that his struggle to change his condition is hopeless is the worst sort of lynching."
~Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Shall We Overcome Or Be Overcomed???

In less than two weeks America will quite possibly elect that skinny kid with a funny name to the most powerful position in the world, POTUS...However, in the words of MLK,"Where Do We Go From Here???"

Yes this is a monumental (and yes for some even scary) moment in our collective history, but individual achievement pails in comparison to mutual collective group progress...Our children are being left behind and poisoned by food and drugs...Our education system is dumbing down generations of kids who are inadequately prepared to compete in a highly competitive global Economy...The Prison Industry Complex Represents The New Plantation Politics Of Our Society...Our urban communities have some of the highest infant mortality rates in the world...The unemployment rate is doubled that of the national average in many Black & poor urban communities throughout the U.S....We are losing NUMEROUS entrepreneurs, visionaries, humanitarians and trail blazers one generation at a time to 'the soft bigotry of low expectations'...

What's Going On???

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Trying To Address These Issues & More This Sunday Oct. 26, 2008...Let The Conservation Began Here, But Don't Let It End Here!!!

Our Esteemed & Wonderful Featured Guests Are...

1.) Human Rights Activist Bro. Rob Collins

On Saturday, September 27, 2008, at 7am, while walking shirtless in my own neighborhood (near were Bird Road and Red Road meet in West Miami), I was stopped by my neighbor, a police officer who was on his way to work and saw me. Acting fully in his role as a police officer (lights flashing, uniform, gun, badge), he told me, "you don't belong here." It was still dark outside, so I can appreciate that he was keeping the neighborhood safe from prowlers - it's my neighborhood.

I established that I lived right down the street and that I was out for my workout. At this point, he persisted to use the language "you don't belong here," which is my real problem. For a Hispanic police officer to tell his African-American neighbor that! "he doesn't belong" in the almost entirely-Cuban neighborhood is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, I'd had another neighbor tell me "you don't belong here" a month before, and he'd followed me in his car while I was walking to the grocery store. Other police told me to tell the police about that, but now, when the culprit is a police officer, what recourse do I have?

No person should ever tell another person, "you don't belong here," when referring to taking up residence in an area, particularly if the person saying that is an officer of the law. It is demeaning and embarrassing and not something that can be tolerated.

The officer is Edwin Gonzalez, Miami-Dade Police Badge Number 2890.

In the immediate sense, I wish to protect and support other Black people who are accordingly accosted and degraded, but the ultimate goal is to have all people be safe to live and
move freely. I need to get the word out. This must not go unnoticed - if you've experienced something similar, then you understand. Thank you for any help!


2.) Iconoclastic & Revolutionary Hip Hop Duo PreciseScience


3.) Part Two Of Interview With Jena 6 Lawyer Lewis Scott

Louis Scott and associate Carol Powell-Lexing. (Courtesy photo)

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Spent Some Extended Time With Attorney Lewis Scott, Jena 6 Mychal Bell's Attorney, Discussing The Jena 6 Saga, The Pros & Cons Of His Client's Plea Bargain & The Fallout Over The Decision...We Also Discussed The Next Civil Rights Concern & Judicial Threat Facing African American Youths In The 21st Century...

Check Out The W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: The Jena 6, One Year Later...


Get Involved

As Always You Can Catch Tha Artivist Presents…W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Live Every Sunday By Clicking On The Following Link:

Please Be Our Invited Guest By Calling Us Live @ 646-652-4593 Or E-mailing Us Your Questions And Comments @

As Always Please Spread The Good News!!!


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Reps Black History 365 Days A Year!!!


Celebrate Black History And Love All Day Every Day With Works By Tha Artivist:



Buy The Award Winning James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant

*Named To The Smithsonian Institute's Jazz Books For Kids And Young Adults List*

Official Website:

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series In The Black...

Rays, Phils Help Change Face Of Series
By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer

PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Look around this World Series and it’s easy to spot all the newcomers—Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and David Price, eager to get a huge hit or throw a perfect pitch.

To Billy Reed, they’ve already made a big difference.

Reed coached Dwight Gooden, Gary Sheffield and many more future big leaguers as boys across the bay in Tampa. He sees this fresh crop of stars changing the face of the game.

“I think having so many African-American ballplayers in the World Series, it has impact on local kids and I’m hoping impact countrywide,” Reed said Wednesday, hours before the opener between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

“It has to be a plus,” he said. “You know, I think the black athlete really got away from baseball. I think we lost a whole generation there.”

Six months after a diversity study showed black players made up only 8.2 percent of major leaguers—it was double that total about a decade ago— there’s a new look this October.

“It’s one of the most pleasant aspects for me,” commissioner Bud Selig said behind home plate at Tropicana Field.

Selig echoed Reed’s observation about the lost generation, saying “I’ll bet Hank Aaron and I have had 100 conversations” about the subject. As the Phillies took batting practice before Game 1, Selig had to like what he saw.

Howard and Rollins were the last two NL MVPs. Crawford, Upton and Cliff Floyd delivered clutch hits for the Rays, Price became a playoff star and Edwin Jackson pitched in.

Prominent players, now with a chance to influence youngsters off the field, too.

“You would hope so, but it’s really going to be about who is watching the games,” Howard said. “We’re here playing, so you hope that it will reach communities where (African-American) kids are watching and they will begin to dream to one day be in our spot.”

It’s certainly a reversal of recent trends in baseball.

In 2005, the Houston Astros were the first team since 1953 without a black player on its World Series roster. In 2007, on the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, star Torii Hunter wondered whether baseball had done the Hall of Famer a disservice.

“That’s what it seems like to me—that all the work he’s done is almost for nothing,” Hunter said then. “Because look where we are. We should be progressing. We’re regressing.”

Gone, it seemed, were the days of the “We are Family” Pirates. Pittsburgh won the 1979 championship with the likes of Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and Bill Madlock, some of the 10 black players on its Series roster.

Even in 1995, Atlanta and Cleveland each had five black players when they played for the title. Last year, there was not a single star black player when Boston played Colorado in the World Series.

Worried that it was losing too many young black athletes to basketball and other interests, Major League Baseball tried to boost its profile with the RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) and the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.

Baseball took it as a positive sign that three of the last four No. 1 picks in the amateur draft—Price, Justin Upton and Tim Beckham, by Tampa Bay in June — were black players.

“We started something. Hopefully, we’ll continue to grow,” Floyd said. “At the same time, the guys that are in the league, or play baseball professionally, we have to do something about it.”

“If it bothers you, you do something about it,” he said. “We want to get out there. This is huge in terms of letting them see how great this game is.”

Now in his 70s and retired, Reed is sold on the sport. He spent 40 years coaching in high school and Little League with Gooden, Sheffield, Carl Everett, Derek Bell and future stars.

Reed roots for the Rays and planned to plop down in front of the television set to watch the World Series with his 10-year-old grandson.

“Maybe we can get some of the other kids to come over from their porches,” he said. “I think they’ll like it.”

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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